Archive for March, 2016

There Is A Lot Of Pain in Aging

March 13, 2016 Leave a comment

I’m old so I know about unearned pain. There’s a variety of kinds of pain and varied places where they occur. They sometimes seem to move around, leaving one are for another. There is a good deal of physical pain, either muscles or bones – or both. Some pain is always there, and it’s at a lower level and we can live with it.

Some pain is not physical. It’s psychological and emotional. Some of we who are old – let’s say over seventy-five – did not live simple, hard-working lives until retirement. Some of us were athletes, some were artists, some were outdoors men, some were travelers and some were dreamers. The dreamers often had the most intensely packed lives, filled to brimming with adventures and misadventures.

The most difficult part of being a family elder is knowing that your younger loved ones are making a mistake. We must not say anything about it. When your children are functioning professionals with families and relationships of their own, you can do your relationship with them the most good by being always positive and supportive – unless they ask for your opinion. Then, you can diplomatically say what you really think and feel.

A daughter decides to get married. The parent is told about it, and the parent knows that it’s not a good idea with this fellow. He’s quite nice, intelligent and interesting, a good lover and likes animals. He is also lazy, confused about life’s realities, and has been coddled all his life. The daughter will not be aware of the weaknesses because of her feelings for the guy. If she asks the parent what he thinks and feels about her decision, he can gently tell her the truth and perhaps save her a few years of anguish.

If she does not ask, he must never mention the misgivings and be ready to give all the support possible to her when she realizes the mistake a few years later. If the parent wants to continue with a loving, trusting relationship with the daughter, one must stay in the background and let her live her own life. Her mistakes should be her own, as the parents’ mistakes had been their own.